As all of us die hard soccer fans have noticed Falcao is one of the most prolific players of this generation. He has recently caused quite a stir of media over his departure from Atletico Madrid to the newly Ligue 2 champions AS Monaco FC. Leaving Atletico was not a shock to people as it was predicted he was on his way out. What people didn’t expect was he was going to throw away the chance to play in the worlds greatest and most challenging league to play on a team with a pretty bad track record.
Falcao was getting offers from both Chelsea and Manchester City, two of the English Premiere Leagues Top teams. To most this would be a childhood dream come true but, this was not in the back of Falcao’s mind apparently. Falcao had snubbed all other offers to accept a $50 million bid from a team who has struggled in Ligue one for the past 8 years. I guess money talks right? At Monaco Falcao will be getting $10 million a year just from salary. Not to say that Falcao does not deserve every last penny he is getting but, for someone who is still in the prime of his career at only 27 years of age it just seems that he isn’t doing himself justice by playing in a lower league with less talent.
Now lets go back to last season. Falcao had a tremendous 2012/13 season with Atletico.
Over the course of 34 games in La Liga, he had managed to score 28 goals, 3rd overall in top scorers just under Ronaldo and Messi. He had done so in only 123 total shots. That means for every 4.4 shots, Falcao would produce another magical goal. If you compare that to Ronaldo last season thats 2.5 less shots needed for him to score. This of course will get any team needing a true striker looking at you. The only person who had a better ratio was Lionel Messi with an amazing 3.5 shots/goal. Falcao also recorded the most headed goals in La Liga with 5. At only 5 ft 10 this man is getting up higher than most defenders woould with over 5 inches on him. Falcao has a 29 inch vertical while in motion which is why he is such a threat when he is in the air.
Now lets look at AS Monaco and why Falcao’s decision may not have been the best.
Back in the year 2000-2004 Monaco was seen as a Top 10 table finisher and in 2004 they were even runners up in the Champions League. After that season though came the decline of the club and of any real hopes in general for them. They eventually were demoted to Ligue 2 after their last place finish in the 2009/2010 season. They didn’t help their cause the next season either placing 8th in Ligue 2. Now they are a rejuvenated side and recently have obtained a wealthy russian general manager who is willing to put big bucks to put Monaco back on the map. Not only have they signed Falcao but also Midfielder Joao Mountinho, Defender Ricardo Carvalho, and Midfielder James Rodriguez for a total of $120 million.
This might seem like a great move for AS Monaco FC but, was it the best decision for Falcao? I believe this was not the smartest choice for a player of his caliber and play style. Falcao is a true goal scorer and threat to almost any defender but, in his times with FC Porto and Atletico Madrid he has had his greatest success when he plays as lone striker. The formation of Athletico is a 4-4-1-1 with you guess it, Falcao up top. Monaco’s success last season came from them using a 4-4-2 formation with their top goal scorer Ibrahima Toure playing on one flank and Valere Germain on the other. It does not seem likely that Claudio Ranieri would want to change a major tactic in their recent success.
We also have to note that Falcao has always played on a talented and successful team. Both FC Porto and Atletico were top of the table division 1 teams. He seems to play better with better players around him. He needs support and have a man that knows how to find him. Monaco has picked up Joao Moutinho, a very reputable and technical central midfielder but, if the two of them can not connect or have good chemistry, we might see him struggle to find the back of the net.
Falcao’s move was most likely one without intentions of winning trophies but, we will see how far he can take the former Ligue 2 side next season, along with Moutinho.
Here is a video montage of some of Falcao’s greatest goals last season!
- Falcao joins Monaco on five-year deal (soccerway.com)
- Radamel Falcao completes transfer to Monaco from Atletico Madrid (telegraph.co.uk)
- Blow for Chelsea as Radamel Falcao seals Monaco switch (talksport.co.uk)